Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Book of the Month: The Republican War on Science

Science is a subject near and dear to my heart because I feel it is our greatest and only hope for truly understanding the world around us. It may not know everything, and it never will, but it has paved the way to our modern, technologically advanced society and allows us to better understand each other and our place in the universe. Now, when someone messes with it, I get angry.

Chris Mooney's The Republican War on Science made me very angry. It it, Mooney lays out a well-documented essay on how the Republican Party has ignored or distorted science for its own purposes since it took control of Congress in 1994. He shows how Republicans have repeatedly ignored scientific findings on important topics such as global warming, obesity, and wildlife protection in order to pander to big business lobbyists. Mooney shows how Republicans' insistence on using "sound science" is actually anything but and makes it almost impossible for science to work the way it's supposed to. Mooney also laments the encroaching influence of religion on science education through intelligent design, a subject very near and dear to my heart. Finally, Mooney looks at how religious "morality" has interferred with protecting this country's youth from the dangers of STDs and stalled the life-saving potential of stem cell research by using fake science to distort the facts.

In summary, Mooney's The Republican War on Science is an excellent expose on the dangers of politicized science and documents (with notes you can verify, unlike Ann Coulter) the Republican Party's efforts to destroy science for political purposes. Furthermore, it shows how the government's actions are hurting America's lead in science and giving other nations a chance to surpass us, which I feel is an unmistakable sign of our decline as a world power. If you're a fan of science and concerned about it's future in America, I recommend picking this one up.

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